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\^o% " * • ' • 

2^. ' CONTENTS. ' . 

CHAPTER I. pa«k. 

Origin of the Bais Rajput Clan* * 1 


Abhaichand . ■ . 4 


Abhaichand's Successors 7 

Raja Sathna . S 


Tilokchand 10 


Tilokchand's Successors 13 


- R&na Raghunath Singh Bahadur 15 

liana 8i£ Shankar Baksh Singh Bahadur, k.c.i.e.^ . . . 21 


Rana Shew Raj Singh Bahadur 34 


First Speech delivered by the Hon'ble Rana Shankar Baksh 
Bahadur, oa the Oudh Rent Bill in the Imperial Legislative • 
Council i 

A P PEN Dfx B. 

Second Speech on the Oudh Rent Bift vi 

Speech delivered by the Hon'ble Rana Sir Shankar Baksh Singh 

Bahadur, k.c.i. e., on the Suits* Valuation Bill. . . . xv 


Speech delivered by the Hon'ble Rajaa Sir Shankar Baksh Singh 
< Bahadur, k.-c.i.k., on the Petroleum Bill .' . . xvii 

■ J APPENDIX E. \ 1 

. -Jlana Shew Raj Singh's letter to the Englishman . . . y xviii 

&ana Shew Raj Singh's letter to the Pioneer . . . . xx 

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Origin of the Bais Rajput Clan. 

King Salibahan — Myth ology — Legends — Traditions. 

|f HE hoary annals of ancient India contain no greater 
■ p) name than King Salibahan who flourished in the 
i rst century of the Christian era . and was the common 
I ^cestor of the different branches of the IJais Rajput clan 
r »at had played a prominent part in the political affairs 
i'the Province of Oudhjbr a period of six hundred years, 
ing Salibahan defeated the renowned King Vikrama- 
;tya of Ujjain, and having expelled him from Mungi 
atan on the Nerbuda in the Deccan, became the undis- 
tited monarch of all India and fixed his own era ir* 
X>. 55. It has been conjectured by European savants, 
> whom we owe much of our knowledge concerning the 
ist.< ry of ancient India, that Salibahan was the leader 
a successful Scythian invasion and the founder of a 
*ythian (Sanskrit Shak or Taks^ak) dynasty in India. 


According to a tradition, which is current in the family 
the Rana of Khajurgaon, the chief of the Sehbasi or 
mbasi clan of Bais Rajputs, Salibahan's father was 
, e great sage, Sudhi Brohmo Rishi, and his mother a- 

< 2 } 

daughter of Basuki Nag Raj, the Great»Serpent God, who,, 
according to Hindu mythology, supports this planet on his. 
head. Another tradition, which is . referred to by Mr.. 
Benett ,in his " Report on the Family History, of the 
Chief Clans of the Rai Bareli District," says that Salibahan 
was brought up under the roof of a potter at Mungi Patan 
and in his" childhood showed such "extraordinary talents 
as prognosticated his future greatness. He appears to* 
have had a genius for deciding complicated disputes, and„ 
as a cross-examiner, his skill was^aaply superhuman. In 
his childhood, he delighted in amusing himself with clay 
figures of horses, elephants and soldiers in battle array ft 
and before he had well reached manhood, Jie led his clay 
battalions against the army of Vikramaditya. When 
the contending hosts met, the clay figures were trans- 
formed into " living brass " and the weapons of tj)e troop* 
of Vikramaditya fell harmless on that hard metaL° 
Vikramaditya fled from the battle- field, hotly pursued by 
his victorious enemy, arfd was glad to take refuge in a. 
temple of Siva. But at the bidding of Salibahan, the 
massive gates of the temple rolled back and Vikram wa& 
obliged to acknowledge his conqueror with appropriate* 
homage. An amicable arrangement was made on the- 
spot for the division of the royal power ; and on the death 
of Vikram, Salibahan became the Emperor of all India.. 
He lived to conquer the Punjab and died at Sialkote. . 

Salibahan is known as the founder of the Serpent 
or Takshak dynasty, and this tradition, coupled with the 
fact that the Serpent God is to this day the tribal deity 
of tne Bais # Rajput clan, would seem to lend some 

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colour of truth to. fhe theory of his Scythian origin. Mr* 
H. K. Nevill, i.c.s., in his admirable Gazetteer, of the Rai 
'Bareli District, points out that this theory of Scythian 
origin is somewhat inconsistent with the fact that "Ihe Bais 
themselves claim to be of the Surajbansi stock." Mr. 
Nevill has been misinformed on this point, as the Bais 
do not claim to be either cf the Surajbtasi or the 
Chandrabansi stock — the two highest clans of Rajputs— 
though their status is acknowledged by # all Rajputs to be 
sufficiently high and both the Surajbansi and the 
Chandrabansi Rajputs give their daughters in marriage 
jo Bais youths. Moreoyer, it is an admitted historical 
fact, as Lieutenant-Colonel James Todd points out in his 
" Annals and Antiquities of Rajsthan," that many of the 
Rajput clans are of Scythian origin. Another link in the 
chain oi evidence supporting the thedfy of the descent 
* of the Bais Rajputs from Salibahan, the descendant of the 
Serpent God, is furnistted by the prevalence of a belief 
among the Bais, that no snake Tias ever destroyed, or can 
destroy, any of them. Sir William Sleeman in his interest- 
ing work, entitled — " A Journey through the Kingdom of 
Otudh in 1849-50," says that t^he Bais " seem to take, no 
precautions " against snake-bijbe, and that " if bitten by 
a snake, they do not attempt any remedy." 


Abhaichand. * • 

An Epoch-making Pilgrimage — Rajput Chivalry — Pioneer 
of Rajput Immigration into Oudh — Wars 
tcith Aborigines.* 

For nearly twelve centuries, the descendants of Sali- 
bahan lived in regal splendour at Mungi Patan on the 
Nerbuda in the Deccan and we do not hear anything of 
them until the middle of the thirteenth century. The 
greater portion of the Province of Oudh was conquered 
by the Mahomedans in the last decade of the twelfth 
century by Bucktiar Khiliji, the famous General of Saha* 
buddin or Mahomed Gnori. About half a century later, 
the King of ArguJ (Fatehpur), who was a Goutanj Rajput 
by. caste, refused to pay tribute to the Mahomedan 
Emperor of Delhi and managed*to defeat a strong force 
which the Mahomedan Governor of Oudh had sent against 
him. Sir Charles Elliott, in his " Chronicles of Unao," 
says that the Emperor of Delhi referred to was one of the* 
!£iodi dynasty. This is clearly an error, as Nasiruddin 
• Manomed of the Slave dynasty occupied the throne of 
Delhi in the middle of the thirteenth century and the 
reign of the Lodi Dynasty hadnot begun until the middle 
of the fifteenth century. Well, the Mahomedan Governor— 
of Oudh, smarting under* the humiliation of his defeat, 
resolved to have his revenge anyhow. Hearing through 
his spies that the Rani of Argul^accompanied by her 
daughter, was abojit to proceed to Baksar, (the southern- 
most Village in the Unao District) to bathe in the Ganges 


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on the festival of the Dew moon and that her -escort was 
not likely to be a strong and numerous one, the Governor 
sent a large number of troops to waylay the roj^tl ladies 
and to bring them to him as captives. The escort of the 
Rani, being taken by surprise, took to their heels and both 
she and her daughter were about to be taken prisoners by 
the victorious Mahomedans, when she lifted the covering 
of her litter and cried out/ — " Is there n6 Rajput here who 
can rescue me and my daughter and save our honour ? " 
Her piteous appeal fortunately reached the ears of two 
princes who were descendants of Salibahan and had arrived 
therefrom Mungi Patan with a large retinue for the same 
religious purpose which had brought there the Queen 
of Argul and her daughter. They were brothers and both 
were as chivalrous as they were strong a'nd brave. They 
fell upon the Mahomedans and drove them off and had the 
satisfaction of rescuing the Queen and the Princess. Both 
the brothers were, however, wounded and one of them died 
on, the battle-field. The other, named Abhaichand, for- 
tunately recovered and had the honour of escorting the 
ladies to the palace of the King of Argul. The Raja, in 
gratitude and admiration for .the heroism displayed by 
Abhaichand, not only gave his daughter in marriage to 
him but also gave with her as dowry all the lands on the 
north of the Ganges over which he field his sway. 


The regions, comprised in this dowry, were inhabited 
by the aboriginal Bhars whom the Raja of Argul had found 
to be very refractory and troublesome subjects, so. that the 
acquisition was one of rather dubious advantage to his son- 
in-law. According to Gautam Rajputs, the territory given 

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to Abhaiohand comprised one thousand four hundred and 
•forty villages, but this claim of extraordinary generosity- 
is not .supported by the traditions of the Bais them- 

Abhaichand lost no time in taking possession of his 
newly acquired possessions, but the subjugation of the 
aboriginal Bhars* taxed his energies and resources to the 
utmost. The disappearance of the Bhars has been a 
subject of much speculation among historians, but traces 
of their extinct civilization and the ruins of their strong^ 
holds and fortresses are still extant. Thejr oldest £,bode 
was the District of Bahraich, the name of which is 
supposed to have been derived from them ; and in the 
Rai Bareli District, the Ahirs are said to be their # modern 
representatives. Abhaichand inflicted a crushing defeat * 
upon the Bhars at Baksar and built a forb there. This 
village was the first seat of the Bais Rajput clan in Oudh. 
Its original name appears to have been Bakashram or the 
Retreat of Baka who is said to have been a demon who 
was^ slain by Abhaichand. The turbulent Bhars appear to 
have given their conqueror little rest, and sometimes they 
even proved more than a match for him and compelled him 
to evacuate his fort at Baksar and retire to his stronghold at 
Abhaipur, a village which he had founded in tjie Antar- 
bad and where his death • appears to have taken place. 
Abhaichand may be said to have be^nJbhe pioneer of Rajput 
immigration into Oudh, as a number of Rajput families 
from Mungi Patau and other places came over to Oudh 
with Tiim and settled there. 

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Abhaich^nd's Successors. 

Conquest — Consolidation — Defeat and Exile — 
Return of Prosperity. 

Abhaichand's successor, Karan Rai, was a chip of the 
old block. He prosecuted with vigouy and success the 
' enterprise which had been left unfinished by his prede- 
cessor. He recovered Baksar from the Bhars, but the first 
real success was achieved by his grandson, Sidhu Rai, 
who ^utterly routed the Bhars in a great battle fought at 
Sangrampur, so named to commemorate his victory. 
Pushing on through the wooden ravines and driving his 
•enemy # before him, he took possession of Murar Mau 
•and Dhundia Khera and was the first to establish his clan in 
.sufficiently large numbers in the new country. He was 
the founder of Sidhupur and ^consolidated the conquests 
made by his predecessors. His successors continued to 
extend their possessions, and Rai Tos, fifth in descent from 
Sidhu Rai, was the undisputed lord of the seven Parganas 
of Unchgaon, Sidhupur, Bara, Kumbhi, Ghatampur, 
Magrayar, Pinhan and half of Bhagwantnagar, all at 
present in the District of Unao. 

Then followed a Mahomed&n invasion and Rai Tos was 
defeated and deprived of his*possessions and we next find 
him with his family^fnd retainers living under the protec- 
tion of the Chauhan Raja of Mainpuri. He appears to 
Tiave had a dispute with the Raja who had ricficuled the 
pretensions of the Bais and refused tn£ir chief the 

( 8 ) 

honours jpaid to an equal. On this, he was challenged 
. by Rai Tos to a pitched battle. On the morning of the. 
fight, all the Bais youths, below twenty years of age* 
numbering about five hundred, were directed to return to 
their homes, so that in the event of the defeat of their 
elders, their families would be preserved from extinction. 
With apparent compliance and " a happy compromise 
between prudence and valour, they withdrew to an 
eiflinence at such a distance from the engagement, that 
they would be able to participate in the success or get a 
good start in case of the defeat of their relations. They^ 
watched an indecisive conflict from morning till evening, 
and then taking advantage of the fatigue of both parties, 
swooped down on the Chauhans and secured the victory.'* 
No argument could be more conclusive than thig of the 
worth of the Bais Rajputs, and the Chauhan Raja was 1 
glad to propitiate Rai Tos by investing him with the Raja's 
tilok or the mark of royalty and giving him his daughter 
in marriage. Rai Tos entered the service of the Emperor 
of Delhi and achieved much distinction and renown by 
his bravery. He died while leading the Imperial troops 
against some rebellious chieftain. 


Raja € §athna. 


Victory over Mahomedans — Defeat S^d Death — Birth of 

Raja c Sathna, son of Rai Tos, was as able and brave 

as he was ambitious. He not only recovered by conquest 


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his ancestral dominions, but added to them the territory 
of Khiron which he conquered from the Bliars. He 
then pushed his conquests to the north, extending them 
almost to Lucknow. Taking advantage of the unsettled 
state of Jaunpur, he seized the old Mussulman strong- 
hold of Kakori and his success caused a temporary 
extinction of the power of the Mahomedans who were driven 
out of the country from Safipur and Kakori to Manikpur^ 
and in most cases were even expelled from their «old 
fortified towns or qasbas. Throughout the newly con- 
quered territory, the Azan and the slaughter of kine 
were proscribed by order of Raja Sathna, and as his 
success caused a general rising of Hindus against the 
Mahomedan colonists, in most of the larger towns the 
Mahomedan Judges and Tax-Collectors were murdered 
or driven away. Husain Shah, on his accession to the 
"throne of Jaunpur, sent a strong force to chastise the 
Hindus and retrieve his losses. Raja Sathna offered 
him a stout resistance but was besieged in his fort at 
Kakori which the Mahomedan invaders stormed. It is 
not clear whether the fort was taken by force or fraud, 
but the Raja was killed, and according to some accounts, < 
his head was buried where* the Shekhon Durwaza now 
stands at Lucknow One of his descendants had taken 
an oath to recover the head of his great ancestor, but 
his oath remained unfulfilled. 4 

Fortunately tke Rani escaped, and in the course 
of her flight was delivered of a son at the small village 
of Kotbhar on the confines of the Rai BareH arid Unao 

Districts. This posthumous son becatfie* famous as 


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"Tilokchand, "the eponymous hero of the greatest of 
the Bais Clans.*" The Rani was hospitably received by • 
the Chauhan Raja of Mainpuri and her son passed the 
first twenty years of his life at this refuge which had 
^.lso sheltered his grand-father before him. 



Conquests — A Caste-maker — Anecdotes. 

Tilokchand is far and away the greatest name in* 
Bais annals. His heroism and conquests have furnished 
themes alike to the historian and the bard. In 1478 
Buhlol Lodi, Emperor of Delhi, sent an expedition against 
King Hosen Shah of Jaunpur who had rebelled against 
his authority. Hosen Shah was defeated by the Im- 
perial troops and sought safety in flight. Taking ad- 
vantage of the destruction of the Jaunpore kingdom, 
Tilokchand sallied forth from Mainpuri at the head of 
a large body of Rajputs, intent on thoughts of conquest. 
Crossing the Ganges near Baksar, he marched northward 
and utterly defeated the Mahomedan garrison at Kakori. 
He next invaded Malliabad, but the Pathans of that 
place, who had only recently settled there, proved too 
strong for him and fixec^ the boundary between theit 
territories and his by buryift^_charcoal in a spot which 
is now covered by the Sheikhon > f&irwaza at Lucknow. 
He had however little difficulty in asserting his supremacy 
•over the Svhole of eastern Oudh from the Ghagra to 
the Ganges a*ad from the gates of Lucknow to Pertabgarh. 

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Tilokchand was a born ruler of men. He built a series 
.of forts at Khiron, Sangrampur and Rai Bareli. He 
was the undisputed ruler of the 22 Bais Parganas. He 
was unquestionably the* Premier Baja of Oudn* in his 

Various stories are related with pride by his descend- 
ants of the supernatural powers of our hero. If he was 
not a king-maker, he was certainly a caste-maker. When 
lie suffered his first and only defeat at the hands of 
the Malliabad Pathans, a panic seized his troops who 
fled, Jeaving him wounded and lying in a litter. The 
victorious Mahomedans came to seize his person and to 
■carry him away in captivity. But the bearers of the 
litter, who were hereditary servants of the house, stood 
bravely by him, and beating off his pursuers, carried 
him away in safety. He then assembled his followers 
and in their presence said that on that day of defeat 
and peril, his Rajputs behaved like women and his 
Kahars (pal ki -bearers) showed the bravery of Rajputs. 
He was therefore pleased to change their name from 
Mehra to Mahror and to confer upon them the social 
status of Rajputs. Since that day the Mahrors have 
ranked as Rajputs. The Raja also gave them twelve 
villages in Perganna Hurha. The Rawuts of Unao 
claim to be the descendants o£ the " fifth son " (a Rajput 
euphemism for a bastard)u2f / Raja Tilokchand. 


Another extraordinary story, related of Tilokchand, 
is the following : — One day while he was oiffc hunting, 
be felt very thirsty and seeing a man dririking by a pond 

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( 12 ) 

under a mango tree, went up to him and without a word 
took his lota "from his hands and clrank. After having, 
appeased his thirst, he asked the man. what caste he be- 
longed £o. In reply the man said, — " Maharaj, I am a 
Lodh." "No," — replied the Maharaja, — "You are mis- 
taken. You are not a Lodh but 4 an Amtara Pathuk, a 
Brahmin." The descendants of this Lodh rank as Brahmins 
to this day. The Ahir Bhale Sultans also ascribe their 
elevation to Raja Tilokchand. 

The bards of Tilokchand and of the Chauhan Raja^ 
of Mainpuri one day entered into a friendly contest in 
singing the praises of their respective patrons, each 
claiming the highest rank for his. The dispute ran so 
high that eventually the Rajas themselves tool^ part in 
it and it was at last resolved to decide by single combat 
which was entitled to the homage of the other. Tilok- 
chand came off victorious* and the Chauhan Raja not 
only acknowledged the superiority of the Bais chief 
but gave his daughter in marriage to him. 

•Like King Solomon, * Tilokchand appears to have 
been a much-married man. The Brahmins of Sultanpur 
relate that the number of his wives had reached the 
figure of three hundred and included high caste Rajput 
Princesses like those of Mainpuri and Rewah as well 
as dames who were not so hi^»Jborn, and that he became 
the father of a progeny as numerous as the sands on 
the sea-shore. His descendants are known as Tilokchandi 
Bais aad By them his memory is held in the highest 
veneration. To this day the Bais horseman descends 

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* from his horse aad goes bare-footed as he passes by the 
village where was born nearly five centuries # ago the 
.most illus'trious cjjisf of the Bais Rajput clan. Tilok- 
chand had carved, out a kingdom for himself, which, he 
fondly believed, would hurl back in course of time the 
tide of Mahomedan conquest. But on his death the 
structure, he had so laboriously erected, fell to pieces. 

Tilokchand's Successobs. 


^hen Tilokchand died, his eldest son, Harhar Deo, 
happened to be away at Delhi. During his absence, 
his younger brother, Prithichand, had been raised to the 
gaddi, bijt on his return from Delhi he was declared 
° the rightful successor and he not only secured for himself 
the title of Rana but also the greater portion of his 
■ancestral dominions. He founded the village of Khajur- 
gaon, the seat of the present Rana Shew Raj Singh 
Bahadur, but also resided at Sehbasi or Simbasi, and hence 
the branch, of which the Rana of Khajurgaon is the head, 
is known as the Sehbasi or Simbasi branch. Harhar 
Deo was a powerful ruler and during his time the pres- 
tige of the family remained untarnished. Harhar Deo 
was succeeded by his son Ramchandra, and the latter 
was succeeded by his son Khepi Karan who in his turn 
was succeeded by Sakfc -Singn who enhanced the prestige 
■of his family by annexing the Dalmau Perganna after 
having defeated the powerful Mussulman Zemindars of 
that place. ' 

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Sakht Singh was succeeded by his eldest son,. 
Rana Dpman J)eo, who fully maintained the high 
• position of his nouse. He had his headquarters at the 
fort of philohi. He was succeeded by his eldest son > 
Rana Ajit Singh, who was in his turn succeeded by his. 
eldest son, Rana Kharag Singh. Amar Singh, the eldest- 
son of the latter, was the next Rana" of Khajurgaon. He 
appears to have been a most ambitious man, and like 
most ambitious men, had to pass through various vicissi- 
tudes of fortune. At one time we see him at the head 
of a victorious legion, as when he defeated Udat Singh 
of Dhundia Khera and Achal Singh of Purera. A1^ 
another time we find him deserted by his w ally an(J de- 
feated by the Purera chieftain. Finally, his cup of humi- 
liation became full to the brim when the Sehbasis were 
defeated at Dalmau by Chabili Ram, a crafty official 
at Allahabad, who had proclaimed himself independent 
and forcibly taken possession of a portion of the terri- 
tories owned by the Rana of Khajurgaon. This took 
place in the first decade of the eighteenth century 
and marked the commencement of the dark period in 
the fortunes of the house of Khajurgaon — which, how T 
ever, turned out to be a singularly short one, having- 
regard to the fact that the family had enjoyed almost 
unbroken prosperity for a succession of centuries. Amar 
Singh failed to recover possession of his los^ domains, 
and died of disappointment % He was succeeded by his. 
only son, Sangram Singh, v^Wioj^is turn was succeeded 
by his only son, Pahar Singh. In v l730, Pahar Singh 
was admitted to qngage for Khajurgaon, Sareli, Bajpai- 
pur and "Hajipur and assumed the title of Rana and the 

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. . > (is ) ; ; 

Chiefship of his clan levies. He was involved in constant 
disputes .with the rival house of Dhoondia Khera and 
was once besieged ii} his fort at Khajurgaon which he . 
was eventually forced to evacuate. After him, the Rana- 
ship of Khajurgaon passed in succession to Chain Singh, 
Bodh Singh and Aman Singh. Their careers were not 
altogether uneventful as they were constantly at feud 
with their own relations or in arms against the Nawabi 
Government. Each of them contrived,, to make some 
additions to the ancestral domains, so that we find Rana 
Raghu Nath Singh, the successor of Eana Aman Singh, 
holding his head as high as any of the " Barons bold " 
of Oudh in the middle of the last century. 


Ran a Raghu Nath Singh. 

More Acquisitions — The Mutiny. 

Rana Raghunath Singh appears to have been a 
striking personality of his time and typical of the age 
in which he lived. When Sir William Sleeman was 
touring in the interior of Oudh in 1849-50, Beni Madho, 
the proprietor of Sankarpur, who subsequently became 
a prominent rebel leader in the Mutiny of 1857, told 
him that during the five years that Fakir Mahommed 
Khan was Nazim of the district, a quarrel had subsisted 
between Beni Madho jjji'Luiis kinsman, Rana Raghu- 
nath Singh of Khajurgaon, that Sahib Rai, the Deputy 
of Fakir Mahommed who was himself no man of busi- 
ness, had espoused the cause of the Rana of Khajurgaon 

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^and had persuaded his master, the Nazim, to " attack 
and rob Jiim (B^ni Madho) of all he had, turn him out 
-of his estate and to make it over to Jfcighunath Singh." 
That, on being dispossessed of his estate, he proceeded 
to Lucknow and fought his claims there for fourteen 

. months and finally succeeded in obtaining an order from 
the Minister Amin Ud-dowla for the estate being re- 
• stored to him, and that, fortified with this order, he 
recovered possession of his estate. Now Beni Madho was 
^implacable foe of his cousin Rana Raghunath Singh. 
For ten years a battle-royal raged between them for. the 
possession of exclusive right to the title of Rana and^ 
each had a force of five thousand brave soldiers with 
numerous auxiliaries. This contest terminated in a com- 
promise whereby both competitors were acknowledged 
to have established their claim to the title and were 
permitted to retain it. Under the circumstances, the 
reliability of the statements, made by Beni Madho to 
Sir William Sleeman, reflecting upon the character of 
Rana Raghunath Singh, appears to be extremely pro- 
blematical. We dare say, if the latter had been given 
the opportunity, he could have put an entirely different 

w complexion upon the circumstances under which Beni 
Madho was deprived of his estate and it was made 
over to him. 

Mr. Benett, in his " Report on the Family History 
of the Chief Clans of the tiS^Sl^li District," records 
the following incident : — 

" In 1843, Haider Hearsey on his way to Partabgarh' 
had left a small detachment at Bhitargaw. The* Rana 


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(Raghunath Singh*) considered this an unwarrantable 
interference and burnt the station down.* . Heafsey was 
•furiously angry a* 'hearing of this sort of impertinence, 
and was not appeased by # the ill-success of the artillery 
he sent to chastise the aggressor. He soon arrived in 
person, and defeating the Rana before his new fort at 
Hajipur, drove him into the old stronghold of Khajur- 
gaon. Here the besiegers were worthily resisted, and 
their commander himself pointed the* gun which fcc 
bad slung in the branch of a tree overlooking the fortress. 
Eventually Raghunath Singh escaped to the dense jun- 
gjes of Nain and returned to the enjoyment of his 
estate* when the danger had passed. He lived to engage 
under the English the largest estate in Baiswara." 

Slee#rian however gives an entirely different account 
•of Rana Raghunath Singh's engagement with Hearsey, 
which is reproduced here : — 

" Gorbaksh Sing Simbaosee died some twenty 
years ago, leaving an estate reduced from a greater 
number to ninety- three villages. His nephew, Fateh 
Bahadur, a child, was adopted .by his widow who con- 
tinued to manage the whole till she died four years 
after. The heir was still a boy, and Raghunath Singh 
• of Khajurgaon, the head of the Simbansee family, took 
advantage of his youth, seizec^ipon the whole ninety- 
three villages, and turned mm out to beg subsistence 
among his relatives. In this, he, Raghunath Singh, 
was, as usual, acting in collusion with the local autho- 
rities of the Government. He continued to possess the 


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estate for ten years, but to reside in his. fort of Hajipur. ' 
Koelee JSingh^a Quhlote by caste, and a Zemindar of 
Bheeturgaw and its eight dependent villages, which- . , 
formed part of the estate of Fateh- Bahadur, went to 
Court at Lucknow and represented that Raghunath Singh < 
had no right whatever to the lands he held and the 
Court had* better make them over to him and the other 
Zemindars, if they did not like to restore them to their 
rightful owner.- Bheeturgaw and its dependent eight 
villages w T ere made over to him, and ten Sipahees from 
Captain Hyder Hearsey's regiment were sent to es- 
tablish and support him in possession. Raghunath 
attacked them, killed two of the Sipafyees and .drove 
out Koelee Singh. He repaired to Court, and Mahomed 
Khan was sent out as Special Commissioner with orders 
to punish Raghunath Singh. He and CaptaiX Hearsey 
attacked him in his fort of Hajipur, drove him out and 
restored Fateh Bahadur to twenty- four villages, and re- 
established Koelee Singh in Bheeturgaw and the eight 
villages dependent upon it." 

We are afraid, it a is impossible to ascertain, at . 
this distance of time, whjch of the two accounts quoted 
above is correct. 

When the Mutiny cloud burst, there jwas no Pro- 1 
vince of India where the tide of treason rose higher 
than it did in the Province^eCPudh. The annexation 
of the Province to British dominions in 1856, or 
rather Jihe summary Settlement which followed, had 
resulted in rqany of the powerful Taluqdars being deprived 

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( 19 ) 

of some of their ancestral villages to wh ich their claims 
were held* to be of doubtful validity. ^Mr. Forrest, in 
* his " History of the Indian Mutiny," quoting from the 
MS. Diary of Sir Joseph Fayrer, Bart., recalls the 
-death-bed utterances of Sir Henry Lawrence. "He 
spoke of the injudicious method in which native 
landholders had been dealt with by the Government." 
Mr. S. H. Butler, I.C.S., c.i.e., than whom Oudh has 
known no more devoted or sympathetic officer, in his 
admirable brochure, entitled "Oudh Policy," which 
has won for him the gratitude of the entire body of 
^aluqdars, says that, as the result of the summary 
Settlement, ne fewer than nine thousand, nine hundred 
.and three villages were transferred from Taluqdars to 
village proprietors. The Taluqdars, with a few honour- 
able exceptions, foremost among whom was Maharaja 
*Sir Digbijoy Singh Bahadur, K.C.S.I., of Bulrampur, 
went over in a body to the rebel camp, at the 
head of their armed retainers. Rana Raghunath Singh 
saw his powerful kinsmen, Ram Buksh of Dhundia- 
Khera and Beni Madho of Shankarpur, exerting them- 
selves openly and actively foe the success of the r§bel 
<jause and fighting pitched battles with British troopk. 
Maharaja Sir Man Singh, k.c.s.1., (then Raja Man Singh) 
— the ablest Taluqdar of his day, "who was as intrepid 
on the balffcle-field as he was sagacious in the cabinet, 
had tent the height of his prepfGge and influence to th6 

lieads of the two powerful Mahomedan houses of Jahan- 
girabad and Mahmudabad had been* among the first to 
raise the standard of revolt. • 

rebels and become one< 

teir -most active leaders. The 

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( 20 ) « 

Small blame, then, to the aged* Rana Raghunath 
Singh, i/, under the circumstances, he should have 
been carried away by the irresistible force and fury 
of the current which had overwhelmed all around 
him. It is on record that he had at first joined 
the rebel cause, but the factt that his name does.. 
not appear in any of the chronicles of the Mutiny 
in Oudh, which we have yet come across, and is not even 
mentioned in his work by General Sir Hope Grant, who 
commanded the British forces, despatched to suppress 
the rebellion and hunt out the rebel leaders in the Rai 
Bareli District, would seem to point to the inferencg* 
that Rana Raghunath Singh had not played a prominent 
part as a rebel leader and that he had at best been, 
but a fifth-wheel to the rebel coach. He appears to 
have deserted the rebel cause and transferred his allegi- 
ance to the English at an early stage of the insurrection^ 
We find from official records that while the rebellioni 
was at its height, he terfdered the payment of Rupees; 
twenty thousand as revenue and rendered the most 
loyal and effective assistance to the English in preparing 
and guarding the bridge at Bhitauraghat. In reward 
of his loyalty, the Government granted him a numbeir 
of villages confiscated from rebel leaders. Rana Raghu- 
nath Singh died in 1861, and as his son, Jadunath Singh„ 
had died fifteen years before, he was succeeded by his- 
grandson, Rana Shankar <<Baksh Singh Bahadur — after- 
ward Rana Sir Shankar BaEsiH2iagh Bahadur, K.C.I.E. 

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• ' — — — 

Rana Sib Shankar Baksh Singh, Bahadur, k.c.i.e. 

Famine Services — British Indian Association — Member^ 
Imperial Legislative 'Council — Oudh Rent Act — Knight- 
hood — Colvin Taluqdars 1 School — Social Reform — Rela- 
tions with High Officials. 

Rana Shankar Baksh Singh was born on the 27th 
•of December 1839 and was therefore twenty-two years of 
^ge when he succeeded his grand-father to the Ranaship 
of Khajurgaon* The Province of Oudh has known few 
Taluqdars so pre-eminently distinguished for loyalty, 
philanthropy and a deep-rooted love of justice, as was the 
noblemag whose name has furnished the heading to this 
^Chapter. He was one of the six Taluqdars of Oudh, who 
received medals of honour at the Imperial Assemblage 
held at Delhi in 1877 in connection with the Proclam- 
ation of the late Queen Victoria as Empress of India. 
In the same year the title of Rana, which had been borne 
by the Taluqdar of Khajurgaon,#s chief of the Simbanjsee 
clan of Bais Rajputs, for aji unbroken succession of 
centuries and had been recognized by the Kings of Oudh, 
was confirmed by the British Government and made 
* hereditary in his family. 


The public life of Jfcfffa Shankar Baksh Singh began 
writh his appointment, - in November 1877, as Vice- 
President of the British Indian Association of Lu^know — 
the great organization of the Taluqdars of Oudh. His 
tenure of this honorary office, which made him the brain 

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( 22 ) 

as well as the ^ arm of the Association, was signalized by 
" the introduction of various reforms, calculated to enhance • 
the utility and the popularity of the Association 
and to improve its financial position. He found that 
the meetings of the Association had become few and 
far between" as the visits of Angels. * At his instance, the 
rules and procedure of the Association were amended 
in order to provide for the holding of meetings with 
greater regularity in the future. He found that owing^ 
to apparent laxity in collection, the subscriptions, due to 
the Association, had, in the cases of not a few Taluqdar^ 
remained unrealized for several years. c He ac|ppteci 
effective but tactful measures by which he not only 
succeeded in realizing the arrears but also improved the 
collection of the current demand. He found th$b a large 
sum of money belonging to the Association was lying^ 
idle in the Government Treasuries. He put an end to 
this practice and made *a substantial addition to the 
permanent income of the Association by investing the 
money in Government Securities valued at Rupees 
seventy-six thousand. E[e was specially thanked by the 
Association for improving its financial position. 

Nor was the Eana Saheb less active in his efforts to- 
secure the redress of some of the more pressing t grievances. 
of the Taluqdars. He foul^I that the provisions of section 
158 of the Revenue Act of lStfc^ere not being properly 
followed by District Officers, with the result that great 
difficulty^ was experienced by the Taluqdars in realizing- 
money from subordinate tenants. He represented the 
matter to Government and had the satisfaction of obtaining^ 

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( 23 ) | 

prompt rpdress, as Qoverament issued /orders to Dis- 
trict Officers to give, effect to the provision^ of the Revenue % 
"Act, which had almost become a dead letter. Imperial 
questions also claimed a fkir share of his attention. When 
Lord Lytton declared w^r against Afghanistan, the British 
Indian Association submitted, at his instance, a.representa- 
tion to Government, in the name of the Taluqdars, offering 
to place their personal services and resources at the disposal 
of Government. The offer was thankfully acknowledged^ 
Government. When the dreadful famine of 1878 devastated 
the United Provinces, Rana Shankar Baksh was among 
the first and foremost to unloose his purse-strings for the 
relief of the sufferers. He was one of the few territorial 
magnates of the old school, who realized the truth that a 
great position carries with it great responsibilities, and, 
in his own case, strove to discharge them to the best of 
Kis ability and according to his light. In recognition of 
his famine services, he was awarded a Certificate of Honour 
at a Durbar held on the 13th of November 1878. 

The estates of some of the Taluqdars having been 
sold privately or by Government, Rana Shankar Bltksh 
suggested that Government should be requested to 
pass a Regulation providing that a certain percentage of 
the incomes of those estates should be reserved for the 
children of the Taluqdars. He drafted a Regulation to 
this effect and it was sjjfcaitted to Government. Though 
he did not live to see his suggestion carried out, it may not 
be out of place to point out here thaf a similar provision 
has found a place in Act II of 1900. We next find the 
Association submitting, at the instance Ojf fh^RanaSaheb 

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• ( 24 ) • 


a representation to Government regarding the Patwari 
Act of 1882 which made encroachments upon the rights 
of Taluqdars. 

In 1882 Rana Shankar Baksh .was created, in recog- 
nition of his public services, a Cclmpanion of the Order 
of the Indian Empire. The Sanad conferring this title 
upon him is published below : — 

Victoria regina. 

Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of th% 
Faith, Empress of India and Sovereign of << the Order of 
the Indian Empire, to Rana Shankar Baksh Singh Baha- 
dur, Honorary Assistant Commissioner in Oudh, Greeting : 
Whereas, We have thought fit to nominate and appoint 
you to be a Member of our said Order of the Indian 
Empire, We do by these Presents grant unto you the dig- 
nity of a Companion of our said Order, and hereby 
authorise you to have, hold, and enjoy the said dignity and 
rank as a Companion of our said Order, together with all 
and c singular the privilegea thereunto belonging or appt^- ^ 

Given at our Court at Balmoral under our Sign 
Manual and the Seal of our said Order, this twenty-thira ~' ~ 
day of May 1882, in the fqrty-fifth year of our Reign. 

By Her Majesty's Commands 


In^the year 1886 Rana Shankar Baksh was appointed 
an Additional 'Member of the Legislative Council of His 

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* f 


Singh Bahadur, KO-E. 


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Excellency the Viceroy and Governor Geiieral to .represent 
the Taluqdars o/ .Oudh in the discussion of the Oudh- 
Rent Bill which had just been introduced by the late 
Mr. Quinton whose tragic death at Manipur robbed 
the Civil Service of o$e of its most brilliant ornaments. 
The Rana took his seat at Simla, and at the meeting 
of the Supreme Legislative Council, held there on the 9th 
of June, 1886, the Hon'ble Mr. Quinton in moving that 
the Hon'ble Rana Shankar Baksh be added to the SeTect 
Committee on the Oudh Rent Bill, welcomed the Rana 
to the Council in the following terms : — 
# " The Legislative Council has been reinforced by the 
addition of Rana Shankar Baksh Singh, Vice-President 
of the Taluqdars* Association and owner of a large taluq 
in southern Oudh, whose knowledge and experience will, 
I have no doubt, be of great value to us in carrying the 
Bill through its remaining stages." 

His Excellency the Viceroy (the Marquis of Dufferin 
and Ava) said : — 

" A very well-qualified representative of the Taluq- 
-claxs, the Vice-President of their Association, has been 
appointed to assist us by his advice." 

At this meeting of the Legislative Council, Rana 
Shankar Jiaksh Singh delivered a most able and ex- 
haustive speech criticising the Oudh Rent Bill from 
the stand-point of the Taluqdars who were so vitally 
affected by that measure. For a full report of this 
speech, vide Appendix A. Rana Shankar Baksh^ attended 
the meetings of the Legislative Council, held dn the 
15th, the 24th and the 30th of September* 1886. The 

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I ( 26 > 

Oudh Rent BilK was passed at the meeting held on 
.the last-named date. The Rana moved a number 
of amendments with a view to eliminating some of 
the objectionable provisions of that measure, but as 
most of his amendments were opj((osed by Government, 
they were .lost. But some of the suggestions made 
by him were accepted by Government. For a full report 
of the speech wjiich he delivered at this meeting, vide 
Appendix B. 

The services which Rana Shankar Baksh rendered in 
the Legislative Council to the Taluqdars of Oudh as well 
as to Government in connection with the Oudh Rent Act 
of 1886, were acknowledged in appropriate terms by the * 
Viceroy and the leading Members of His Excellency's 
Government. *■ 

Sir Auckland Colvin, the Hon'ble Member in charge 
of the Department of Finance, said : — 

" I trust I may be allowed to bear my tribute to what 
has seemed to me to have been, during the course of the 
deliberations in which 1^ have shared, the extremely ■ 
reasonable and equitable spirit in which, whether in official 
or in non-official conferences, my hon'ble friend Rana 
Shankar Baksh Singh and the Taluqdars, who have accom- . 
parried him, have approached this subject which, neces- 
sarily to them in a degree not less than to the Govern- 
ment, involves issues of extreme importance." 

Mr. Ilbert (Law Member) said : — 

" c In the performance of this task, we have had the 
assistance not only of my hon'ble friend, Rana Shankar 

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( 27 ) 

Baksh Singh, but- of the gentlemen who have acqpmpanied 
him from Oudh. * We have been able to meet my hon'Me* 
friend, Rana Shankar Baksh Singh, in both of the twa 
points to which he took special exception in the Bill, as 
introduced, I mean on, the question of compensation for 
disturbance, and wfth respect to the clause providing 
special machinery for enforcing the conditions of the 

His Excellency the Viceroy said : — 

" I especially desire to congratulate my hon'ble 
colleague, whj> represents the Taluqdars of Oudh, upon 
the manner in which he has brought to notice the views of 
himself and his associates regarding the Bill, and on the 
success^il manner in which he has vindicated their inter- 
ests and set forth their moderate and reasonable demands." 

Eana Shankar Baksh attended the cold-weather 
session of the Imperial Legislative Council in Calcutta 
in 1887, and had the honour of serving on the Select 
Committees appointed to rejort upon the following 

The Bill to consolidate and amend the law relating 
to Guardian and Ward. 

The Bill to amend the law relating to Imprisonment 
for Debt. 

The Bill to prescribe the mode of valuing certain 
suits for the purpose of determining the. Jurisdiction of 
Courts with respect thereto. * 

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The pill to amend the Code of Civil Procedure and 
the Indian Limitation Act. . t 

The speech, delivered by Rana Shankar Baksh on 
the Suits Valuation Bill at the meeting of the Imperial 
Legislative Council, held in Cafcu^ta on the 28th of 
-January 1887, is printed as Appendix C. 

The last speech delivered in the Legislative Council 
by the Hon'ble Rana Sir Shankar Baksh Singh Bahadur, 
K.C.I.E., was the one on the Petroleum Bill, which was 
-delivered at the meeting of the Legislative Council held* 
in Calcutta on the 3rd of February 1888. It will be 
found as Appendix D. 

In 1887, the year of the Jubilee of the reigji of the 
late Queen Empress, the Rana Saheb was elevated to the 

dignity of a Knight Commander of the Most* Eminent 
Order of the Indian Empire. The Sanad conferring upon 

liim the title of k.cj.e. is published below — 


Victoria by the Grace of .God of the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the 
Faith, Empress of India and Sovereign of the Most Emi- 
nent Order of the Indian Empire, to Rana Shankar Baksh 
Singh Bahadur, Companion of our said Order of the 
Indian Empire, Additional Member of the Council of the 
Viceroy and Governor-General of India for making Laws 
-and Regulations, Greeting : Whereas we have thought fit 
to nominate anjl appoint you a Knight Commander of our 
said Order of^the*Indian Empire, We do by these Presents 

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1 • f 

/ / • . • ( 29 ) # * * ' 

grant unto you \he dignity of a Knight Commander of 
our said Order, send hereby authorize you to, hold, 
and enjoy the safid dignity and rank as a Knight Com- 
mander of our said Most Eminent Order, together with 
all and singular the privileges thereunto belonging or 

* \ * 

Given at our Court at Osborne under our Sign 

Manual and the Seal of our said Order,, this fifteenth day 
of February, 1887, in the fiftieth year of our Reign. 

By the Sovereign's Command. 


The Taluojlars of Oudh gave a grand entertainment 
in honour of the Rana Saheb, which was attended 
by all the Civil and Military Officers at Lucknow. 
On the 8ve of his retirement from the satrapy of the- 
United Provinces, Sir Alfred Lyall specially recom- 
mended certain Taluqdars to his successor, and foremost 
amongst them all was the Hon'ble Rana Sir Shankar 
Baksh Singh Bahadur, K.c.i.E. We find from the records 
of the British Indian Association that at the very first 
interview which the Rana had with Sir Auckland Cofvin, 
who succeeded Sir Alfred Lyall, he succeeded in induc- 
ing the new Lieutenant-Governor to sanction the scheme^ 
for* the establishment of a School for the sons of Taluq- 
dars, on tfie model of the Rajkumar Colleges, of which 
he was one of the prime movers. In April 1888, a Com- 
mittee was appointed with Colonel Erskine as President 
and Rana Sir Shankar Baksh Bahadyr, K.C.I.E., as Vice- 
President to carry out the scheme. The Colvin Taluqdars' 
School is now a flourishing institution, *mcUo none is it 

J J 

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( 30 ) 1 % 

indebted more for its foundation and prosperity than to 
Rana Sir*Shankar Baksh Singh Bahadur*. Faithful to the 
feudal traditions of his family,Rana Sir Shankar Baksh sug- 
gested to Government that the Talukdars should be placed 
in a position to help Government with troops, if neces- , 
sary. His suggestion was accepted by Government and 180 
Taluqdars obtained permission t^ maintain regular troops. 

Though belonging to the old school, the Rana Saheb 
was shrewd and enlightened enough to perceive that the 
extension of railways was necessary in the interests of the 
development of the trade of the country. On his motion, 
the British Indian Association submitted to Government 
a representation suggesting the construction of railways 
through Rai Bareli, Sultanpur and Pertabgarh. Social 
reform claimed no small share of the attention of the 
Rana Saheb. Through his exertions the British Indian « 
Association took up in right earnest the quest-ion of the 
curtailment of expenses bn the occasions of marriages 
and funerals. Circulars were issued to all Taluqdars, 
a Central Committee was formed at Lucknow, and a Local 
Committee was established in every district to further 
the cause of social reform. The Rana Saheb was most 
zealous in his efforts to improve the position and raise 
the status of the , Taluqdars. At his instance, the 
Association submitted a representation to Government, 
suggesting the revival of the ancient custom of receiving 
nazars and granting khilats at Durbars. In reply the 
Government promised to consider the suggestion. 

I^ana Sir Shankar. Baksh Singh Bahadur was an 
honorary Magistrate and Assistant Collector and was 


noted for his disinterested devotion to his civic duties. As 
Vice-President of ^the Taluqdars' Association, he ^as often 
called upon to givehis opinion on intricate questions of 
Legislation or Administration, and it is a striking tribute 
to his tact and transparent honesty, that he should have 
retained to the last the confidence and esteem alike of 
high officials and of the^ " Barons bold " of Oudh. To 
his philanthropy and public-spirited liberality, as shown 
during successive famines, some reference has already h^en 
made in this Chapter. He never let his right-hand know 
what his left hand did, kept no record of his public or 
^private charities and would have certainly scorned to 
advertise them. We believe the Dufferin Hospital at 
Rai Bareli was built out of funds mainly contributed by 
Rana Sir Shankar Baksh and partly raised by public 
subscriptions. It has rarely fallen to the lot of an Indian 
' nobleman to have made such a favourable impression 
upon the very highest officials in the land as did Rana 
Sir Shankar Baksh upon those with whom he happened 
to be brought into contact. The following letter, written to 
the Rana by the late Sir John Woodburn, K.c.s.i., who was 
then the Hon'ble Member in charge of the Home Depart- 
ment of the Government of India, and subsequently rose to 
the Lieutenant-Governorship of Bengal and died while 
occupying that exalted position, will, we trust, fully bear 
out what is stated above : — 

Simla, 30th July 1897. 

My dear old Friend, 

I have been greatly distressed and touched by the 
letter from you that reached me last night. It 3 was a 

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( 32 ) 

deep disappointment to me that I had to go to Poona 
instead *f Lucknow. The one pleasure I had in my 
"journey was the prospect of seeing you,^ and the trust I 
had of cheering you into a more hopeful state. Your 
disease causes great despondency and you need an old ^ 
• friend to brighten you up. 

I have a fortnights arrears to clear off or I would 
go now to cheer you. 

Be of good comfort, my dear Rana Saheb. I never 
deserted a friend — least of all would I fail to you or 
yours — you who are the truest, straightest, most upright 
Indian I have ever known — a Rajput like an Englishman. 

Believe me always, 
Your true and affectionate fr\end, 


Rana Sir Shankar Baksh Singh, Bahadur, k.c.i.e. 

It may be stated here that no inconsiderable portion 
of the official life of the c late Sir John Woodburn was 
spent in Oudh and that he was on most intimate 
terms with many of the leading Taluqdars. It is 
evident that the letter quoted above was in reply to 
a letter written by the Rana complaining of his serious 
illness. Within two months of the receipt of Sir John 
Woodburn's letter, its recipient passed away to where 
beyond these voices there is peace. On the 1st of 
October J.897, Rana Sir Shankar Baksh Singh Bahadur, 
K.C.I.&, breathed his last in the fulness, if not of years* 

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r ' • . . ( 33 ) J \ • 

certainly of honours and deeply lamented by a large circle 

of friends and admirers. . 


Reference has already been made to the services 
rendered by Rana Sir Shankar Baksh Singh Bahadur 
during the famine of 1877. He rendered equally valuable 
services during the.fatnine of 1896-97, in reward of 
which he was to be .presented with a testimonial at the 
Durbar held at Lucknow. He died before receiving this 
testimonial, a copy of which is printed below — • 

By Command of His Excellency the Viceroy and 

Governor-General in Council 

.This Certificate is presented in the name of 



* TO 

Late RanjwSir Shankar Baksh Singh, k.c.i.e., Taluqdar 
of Khajurgaon in the Rai Bareli District, 

In recognition of the meritorious services rendered by him 
during the Famine of 1896-97 in the North-Western 
Provinces and Oudh. * • 


Lieutenant-Governor, JS T .-W. P. and Oudh. 
January 1st, 1898. 

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Rana Shew Raj Singh Bahadur. 

A Prosperous Landlord — A Promising Career — Family 
. — The Bais Rajputs- — Khajurgaon. 

Rana Sir Shankar Baksh Singh Bahadur, k.c.le., 
w^s succeeded by his second son, Shew Raj Sing, the 
present Rana ; his eldest son, Lai Chandra Bhukan Singh, 
born in 1860, having pre-deceased him. Rana Shew Raj 
Singh Bahadur was born in 1865, and had the advantage 
of being trained in the management of the ancestral 
estate by his illustrious father. He holds no fewer than ^ 
one hundred and thirty villages in the District of Rai 
Bareli, comprising one hundred and forty mahal^— eighty- 
eight in Dalmau Pergana, twenty-five in Rai Bareli • 
seventeen in Khiron, and ten in Sareni. Besides, he is 
the proprietor of Ibrahimgunj estate of two villages in 
Lucknow and of the Karohia property of two villages in 
Kheri. In addition, he has possession, under an usufruc- 
tuary mortgage, of ninety-seven villages of Murar Man . | 
Taluq, which will run till 1914. The present Rana is pre- " ^ 
eminently noted for his enlightened and public-spirited 
liberality. At Khajurgaon itself, he maintains a dispensary, 
speaking of which, Mr. H. R. Nevill, i.c.s., the compiler • 
of the latest Gazetteer (1905) of the Rai Bareli District, 
whites as follows: — 

" Every hospital showed a marked decrease in attend- 
ance, saVe that at thajurgaon, which appears from the 
returns to i>e~ steadily rising in popularity/' 

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Rana Shew Raj Simhj Bahadur. 

A P rosperous Land* rd — ^1 Promising Career — Family v 
- — 7 1 - I) *f Ha} put $- — Kh aju rtjaon . 


«^ -.a '.- i ' ' ■ * his si md son. Shew Raj Sing, th«- 
pr« st iit U: ,. ; ..> M< > i n, Lai Chandra Bhukan Singh, 
horn in ! . iinvir;- ; - -de^ase-i him. Rana Shew Raj 
Singh R. i iur w ^ ■ i in IS*' and had the advantage 
of being trained . the in. -.ugoment of the ancestral 
estate by his illustrious fat-: . r. He holds no fewer than 
one hundred and thirty * \ages in the District of Rai 
Barcli, comprising one h iidrcd and forty mahals>— eighty 
t ight, in Dalmau P< v ma, twenty-five in Rai Barel* # 
8( ; vt'.in. . ii ot Khi>- and ten in Sareni. Besides, he i^ 

;.; ori^tor rahimgunj estate of two villages in 

l,.«i-ii-i\v and iKarohia property of two villages in 

ii. In ton, he has. possession, under an usufrur- 

: ' ry nioi of ninety-seven villages of Murar Man 

i .iluq, wl > ill run till 1914. The present Rana is pi t 
■ mine?' ; oted for his enlightened and public-spirited 
liber* At Khajurgaon itself, he maintains a dispensary. 
sp< : >f Mr. H. R. Nevill, j.c.s., the compiler 

of Jest '< . etteer (1 905) of the Rai Bareli District 

> as In?' as: — 

E ■ hospital showed a marked decrease in attemi 
^ that a* Khajurgaon, which appears from th* 
• l > >. su-.' !Jy rising in popularity." 

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Pa no Shew Raj Singh (Bahadur. 

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* t • • ••" •? 

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1 ( 35 ) ~" 

The Rana also maintains a large Upper Primary 
School — with an average daily attendance of fifty— and a 
• market called Raghunathganj. He is an Honorary 
Magistrate with second class powers within the limits of 
his estate, and also an Honorary Munsiff having civil 
jurisdiction over Pergayia^hiron. 

• • 

The present Rana has made a donation of Rs. 20,000 
towards the funds of the proposed Metlical College $t 
Lucknow, which has been supplemented by an additional 
-contribution of Rs. 8,000 from the Rani Saheba of Khajur- 
gaon. He also gave a handsome donation for the con- 
struction of a Memorial Hall in connection with the Colvin 
Taluqdars' School at Lucknow. Here is a list of his 
principal donations exclusive of those mentioned above — 


Colvin fFaluqdars' School 

.... 3,500 

Transvaal War Orphans' Fund 

... 1,000 

Meywar Famine Fund ... 


Rajputna do. do. ... 

... 1,000 

Victoria Memorial 

... 4,000 

Woodburn Memorial 

... 1,200 

Benett Memorial 

... 5,000 

•The present Rana has also founded the Hardy Gold 
Medal in connection with the Colvin Taluqdars' School 
fie received the thanks of Government for his present- 
ation of a case of instruments to the^ Hoppital at 

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( 36 ) » 

Rai Bareli, as will appear from the Certificate printed 

Br Command of His Excellency the Viceroy 
and Governor-General in Council 

This Certificate is presented in the name of 



Rana Shew Raj Singh of Thalrai (Khajurgaon) Rai 
Bareli District, in recognition of his having presented the 
Rai Bareli Hospital with a much needed and 'valuable 
case of Instruments. 

(Sd.) J. Digges Latouche, 

Lieutenant-Governor, United Provinces 

of Affra and Oudk. 
January 1st, 1903. # 

For the assistance given by him to tjie operations 
of the Vaccination Department in the District of Rai 
Bareli, Rana Shew Raj Singh Bahadur has been repeated- 
ly thanked by Government. The letter printed 'below 
speaks for itself — 

4 No. 2536. 

Dated, Luchnow, the 30th August 1902^ 



• United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, ] • 



of Thalrai, Khajurgaon, District Rai Bareli. . 


As directed*by His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor 
I Have the Jionour to convey to you the acknowledgments 

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of Government for the special assistance you gave to the 
operations of th^ Vaccination Department during the , 
season 1901-2. 

I have the honour to be, 

. s Sir> 

# Your most obedienfTServant, 

<Sd.) J. CHAYTOR WHITE, m.d, d.p.h., Major, I.M.&, 
Sanitary Commissioner, United Provinces • 

of Agra and Oudh. 

9 Similar acknowledgments have been made in each 
-successive year. 

The following testimonials will, we venture to think, 
not be considered out of place here : — 

* Deputy Commissioner's Office, 

• Rai Barely March 10th, 1900. 


* Rana Shew Raj Singh, son of Rana Sir Shankar 
Baksh Singh, K.C.I.E., has been in possession of the 
Khajurgaon Taluqa while I have been in this district. I 
have always found him a pleasarft gentleman to deal with 
in business and in other matters. In Court of Wards, he 
.gave us great assistance in the settlement of Murar Mau 
•affairs, and, but for his timely help, we should have had a 
very difficult task. He has given me very sound advice 
when dealing with Court of Wards family matters in the 
Ohar Estate, and has always been ready to assist when assist- 
ance in any matter was asked of him. He is an Honorary 
Magistrate, and I hope, will soon exercise second t class 
powers. He, when on the District Boan}, was a frequent 

♦ » 

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( 38 ) 

attendant, and I hope he will represent his tahsil again thi* 

ye * r ' (Sd.) P. WYNDHAM, 

Deputy Commissioner* 

^Commissioner's Office, 
tLucknow Division. 

Rana Shew Raj Singh of Khajurgaon is one of the 
principal Taluqdars of this Division, and well known as an 
enlightened and public-spirited gentleman. He has asked 
me for this note which I have much pleasure in giving 
him before I leave India. € 

(Sd.) J. S. C. DAVIS, 


23rd March 1906. 


During the management of the present Rana, the 
Khajurgaon estate has become one of the wealthiest ii? 
Oudh. In the Rai Bareli Gazetteer, Khajurgaon hgads- 
the list of " the Taluqas which have prospered most " in 
th$ District. 

Rana Shew Raj Singh Bahadur was first married 1k> 
a daughter of Babu Amarjit Singh, a Bisin Rajput by 
caste and a younger brother of the Raja of Majhoulie*. 
This lady having died in 1888, the Rana next married a 
daughter of Raja Somessur Dutt Singh, a Bachhgotee 
Rajput by caste and Raja of Kundwar. She having died 
in 1897, the Rana ^married his present Rani, who is a 
daughter of the Raja of Bijipur in the Mirzapur District* 
by caste a Qaherwar Rajput. 

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I ( 38 ) ; • 

Attendant, and I hope he will represent his tahsil again thi* 
Yeah * 

* , (Sd.) RWYNDHAM, 

Deputy Commission^' 

. ( 'om m i ss i on i : r's G fft ck , 

% Lurid' c T>i vision. 

Ran*. 1 Raj Sincui of Khajur^ton is one of the 
pnwi;^' 1 >rs of this Division, nd well known as an. 

mlight : public-spirited g<- leman. He has asked 

me f,v , -to whkh T hav« much pleasure in giving 

him 1> I leave India. 

; sd.) J. S. C. DAVIS*, 

Commissioner . 

LrcKNOW, \ ■' ■ 

>r>r<{ Marrh 1906. ) , * 

I>t'Ri\<: the : igement of the present Rana, the 
K . nil f?' uas become one of the "wealthiest iv 
■ * ;a. In th- Bareli Gazetteer, Khajtirgaon heads* 

est oi ialuqas which Have prospered most" in 

: - v Distri- 

Ran .wv Raj Singh Bahadur was first married to. 
. dau t c> of Babu Amarjit Singh, a Bisin Rajput "by 
i^h: a younger "brother of the Raja of Majhoulie. 
Th ! ~ .,y having died in 1888, the Rana next married a 

• he:-, or of R^h Somessur Dutt Singln. a Baehhgpte* 

» '.jt by f\^ie and Raja of Kundwar. . She having dic^i 
« 897, t 1 .' Rana married his present Rani, who is a 
.:gV--r of the Rnjn <-.f Bijipur in the JJir/apur District. 

*>V • ** a (J^ v ur Rajimt. 

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Kunwar Lai Umanath Baksh SiRgR Bahadur. 

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( 39 ) 

Lai Umanath Baksh Singh, the eldest son of Bana 
Shew Raj Singh, was born on the 20th of November 1888. 
He received a fair education at thjp Colvin Taluqdars* 
School and has latterly been assisting his father in the 
management of the estate. He was married, first to a 
daughter of the Maharaja of Sirguja, a Political Chief 
in the Ranchi District ,in Bengal and a Reckumbansi 
Rajput by caste, and secondly to a daughter of General 
Padam Jung Rana Bahadur by caste a Sismadhya 
Rajput and a brother of the Maharana of Udepur. 

# Sliumbhunath Baksh Singh, the second son of Rana 
She^Raj Singh Bahadur, was born in 1890, and married a 

. daughter of Babu Indrasen Singh of Dhurooa in the 
Fyzabad District, a Raj Kumar Rajput by caste. Lai 
Umanatfe Baksh Singh, the eldest son of the Rana, had 

•a son born to him in 1905, and in the following year a 
son was b<wn to his second son wfyo has been adopted by 

# Babuain Ratan Kunwar as h£r son and is the heir to the 
Katghar Estate. 

When he was little over twenty years of age, Rana 
Shew Raj Singh accompanied ftis father to Calcutta when » 
he went there to attend the meetings of the Supreme 
Legislative Council. Twenty years later, the Rana paid 
another visit to Calcutta, as a member of the deputation 
from the "taluqdars, which waited upon His Excellency the 
Earl of Minto to present him with an Address of Wel- 
come on his assumption of the Viceroyalty of India. 
The Rana was struck by the various Municipal improve- 
ments which he noticed in Calcutta on the occasion of this 
vi^it and communicated his reflections ip \he Englishman 


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( 40 ) { 

Newspaper in the form of a letter which is reproduced Appendix E/ , 

• • • v 

In Calcutta, His Excellency the Earl of Minto and 

His Excellency Viscount Kitchener were graciously 

pleased to grant the° Rana a. private interview. In 

February 1906, the Jubilee of • the "British annexation of 

Oudh took place, and the occasion drew forth from the 

Rana a very thoughtful letter which appeared in the 

Pioneer. The head of a fighting Clan, the Rana could not 

help expressing a sneaking partiality for the old ^feudal 

regime, but neither did he omit to point out in his paper 


how much the Province had benefited by the change 

which placed it under direct administration by the British 

authorities. This letter will be found as Appendix F. 

and will, we trust, amply repay perusal. # 


A few words concerning the Bais Rajputs* of whom 
the Rana of Khajurgaon is one of the honoured Chiefs,, 
may not be inappropriate here. . 

In Ain-i-Akbari we c read of a Bais Rajput named 
Kalidas Gajdani who made himself supreme in Southern 
Bengal in the middle of the sixteenth century, and whose 
still more famous son, who became a convert to Islam 
and assumed the name of Isha Khan, was the most 
powerful among the twelve Bhuiyas by whom Bengal 
was ruled, down to the early years of the seventeenth 


J As soldiers, the Bais Rajputs had greatly distin- 
guished themselves in the past and certainly even at the 

. t 

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I ( « ) 

present time their right hand has not lost its cunning 
of old days. Thfey gave an excellent account of them- 
selves in the several engagements 'in which they took 
part during the dark days of the Mutiny* Speaking of 
the Zemindari levies, wjio, led by. their Chiefs, opposed 
the English, and among whom the Rajputs preponderated, 
Sir Hope Grant, the Commander of the British Column 
that operated in Oudh, writes : — • # 

" It certainly could not be said of these fine fellows 
that they were ' contemptible to their enemies/ for, in a 
few minutes., they were pouring through the wall like 
wild fire, carrying every thing before them." 

In another place, Sir Hope Grant writes : — 

" A Jarge body of fine, daring, Zemindari men brought 
*two guns into the open and attacked us in rear. I have 
seen many*battles in India, and many brave fellows fight- 
ing with a determination to conquer or die, but I never 
witnessed any thing more magnificent than the conduct 
of these Zemindaries. ,, 

Referring to the Bais fort of Dhundia Khera, supposed 
to have been originally built by Tilokchand, the same 
eminent authority, whom we have already quoted, writes : — 

" It was one of the most formidable forts I had ever 
seen in India, with large enormously thick mud walls 
and surrounded by a jungle so dense as to be imperviable, 
except where pathways had been cut." 

We believe even now, when the pen and the plough 
have supplanted the sword, the Bais Rajputs are strongly 
represented in the Native Army. 

» • 

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( 42 ) ( 

Rana Shew Raj Singh Bahadur is a pious and orthodox 
"Hindu and has been ^ strict vegetarian since his pilgrimage: 
to the Temple of Raiiieswar in the southernmost extremity 
of India, some years ago. He was accompanied in his pil- 
grimage by hundreds of his relations and retainers, very few 
of whom would have had an opportunity of visiting that 
most ancient and venerated but t6o distant shrine of Hindu- 
ism, had it not been for the Rana's generous assistance. 

Many of the Bais Rajputs have now-a-days taken to- 
commercial and banking pursuits for which they seem ta 
have no little aptitude. To quote an English autnor, thg 
Bais " claim to be the most enterprising, tha best dressed 
and the wealthiest house in Oudh." A curious custom „ 
prevails among them. Their women never wear cotton 
cloth of any other colour than white and no silver may be 
worn above the ankles. • 

The village of Khajurgaon, the seat of the Rana, 
which can already claim an antiquity of several centuries,, 
having been originally founded by Rana Har Har DeQ, is- 
situated on the banks of the Ganges in latitude 26° 5 1 
north and longitude SO ^ 1 east, at a distance of about 
5 miles from Dalmau. It covers an area of 1,169 acres and 
its population, according to the Census of 1901, was 2,638 
including 183 Mahomedans. 

We present to the public this brief sketch of the 
history of the house of Khajurgaon and trust it will not 
prove altogether uninteresting. 

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Speech by the Hon'ble Ran a Sir Shankar Baksh Singh 
Bahadur, k.c.i.jc., 'in the Imperial Legislative Council on 
the Oudh Rent *Bill» Simla, June 9th, 1886. 

My Lord, — As a Member of this Horf ble Council, I feel it 
my duty to express my humble views on the broad and 
difficult questions involved in the Oudh Rent Bill which is 
# now before your Excellency's Council. But I shall confine 
mysejf to a fev^ remarks which will not take up much of the 
valuable time of the Hon'ble Members. 

From the results of formal and elaborate enquiries, 
9 which have from time to time been made into a tenant-right 
ii> Oudh, it has been universally admitted that the landlords in 
Oudh have never practised extortion towards their tenants. 
.In support of this, I respectfully refer your Lordship to 
the* Minute of his Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, North- 
western Provinces and Oudh, dated 28th December 1882, 
to letter No. 135, dated 1st June* 1883, from Major Erskine, 
the Special Commissioner, and to letter No. 3939, dated 21st 
December 1882, from the Secretary to the Government of 
North- Western Provinces and Oudh. 

In the face of such high authorities exonerating the 
Taluqdars from the charge of rack-renting and oppression, 
I" humbly submit that I am quite unable to understand how 
such a charge can for a moment be supposed to be true or 
well-founded and how the notorious Sahlamao case can be^ 
cited in; support thereof. * ; 

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The Sanads granted to the Taluqdars, when read with the 
letters of the 10£h an6j 19th October 1859 s leave no doubt 
as to the fact of the protection, therein afforded, being confined, 
with certain conditions, to those under-proprietors who 
•occupied an intermediate position between the superior proprie- 
tors or taluqdars and tenants-at-will arid w^ho were actually found 
to possess an occupancy right in 1855. But in obedience 
to the will of Government, and with the sole view of benefiting 
•these intermediate ^holders, the taluqdars have loyally sub- 
mitted to the extension of the period, during which their 
•claims may be heard, to twelve years. This is sufficiently 
proved by the following legislative enactments and official^ 
•circulars to which I humbly draw the special attention of 
this Hon'ble Council : — 

By Act XVI of 1865, the period in question was extended 
from the 13th February 1844 to the 13th February f&56. 

By Act XXVI of 1866, under-proprietory rightsMn «V, Ac, 
were conceded to sub-lessees and under-proprietors. 

By Act XIII of 1866 the right of redemption of mortgnge 

was allowed contrary to the express provisions of the Sanad. 
*. • 

By Circular IV of 1867 compensation was made to ex- 
proprietors in the shape of an under-proprietory title. 

By Section 5, Act XIX of 1868, a right of occupancy was 
^conferred on car-proprietors in their khudkasht land. 

Having mentioned briefly some of the most valuable 
concessions made by the Taluqdars in favour of their tenants, 
I proceed,, to examine the broader question of an alleged 
" tenant-right '* in Oudh. On this important question, I think, 
I cannot do better than draw the attention of the Hon'blo 

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Council to the elaborate an,d complete enquiries made in 1865, 
which resulted in the famous Despatch # of Her Majesty's * 
Secretary of Stafe, dated 10th February 1865, wherein it was 
finally settled and authoritatively declared that no tenant-right 
had ever existed in Oudh, that is, tenants-at-will possessed 
no right whatever in Jhe land tl^ey cultivated. But the 
Taluqdars of Oudh, *in deference to the wishes of Government 
and with the sole view of gaining their good-will and promoting 
the welfare of their tenants, have, of thair own accord, by a 
Resolution of the Committee of the British Indian Association, 
held on the 22nd April 1886, agreed to make two fresh valuable 
concessions in favour of the latter, and cheerfully accepted the- 
rules of seven years' lease and of the limitation of enhance- 
ments, subject to the following very important exceptions : — 

(a) Nautore (land given on clearance lease) ; 
Banjar ; 

(c) Jungle ; 

(d) » New alluvial land ; 

(e) Parti ; 

(/) Land rendered culturable by the land-lord at hi*. 
m own expense. 

Thus, my Lord, the taluqdars of Oudh have, on every, occa- 9 
sion, proved their loyalty and devotion to the British Government, 
have always earnestly endeavoured to gain its good-will and have 
always shown moderation and liberality to their tenants and those 
who hold. under them. Under these circumstances, I respectfully 
submit that the charge of rack-renting and oppression brought 
against them is far from being just and reasonable. But as; 
"experience has shown that Section 43, Act XIX of 1868 has not 
worked as well as could be desired, a»d that some amendment 
should be made therein in the interests of all concerned, I do not 
feel myself justified in saying that I hold a different opinion. 

3 » 

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( iv ) 

* « 

Now, with your Lordship's permission, I propose to examine 
•some other provisions of the Oudh Rent Bill, which, in my 
humble opinion, are openjto serious objections. 

Among these, I would, with due deference, draw your Lord- 
ship's attention to the provisions of jSection 38(A) regarding 
compensation for disturbance, and of Section 129 authorising the 
Local Government to interfere in cases of great mismanagement. 
These Sections, I humbly submit, should be entirely expunged 
from the Bill, because " compensation " presupposes the 
existence of a right in lieu whereof something is given. If this 
compensation is for ejectment, it involves the loss of the proprie- 
tory rights of the landlords and will inevitably have the effect of 
•depriving them thereof. It will be a very great hardship to the 
landlord, if after being debarred from ejecting his tenant for 
seven years and enhancing his rent beyond one anna in the 
rupee on the expiration of that period, he is compelled to* pay one 
year's rent to the tenant so ejected. Such a measure would almost 
be intolerable to the landlord. As an illustration of thts, I would 
humbly ask your Lordship to look into the case of a tenant, who 
has to pay an annual rent of one hundred Rupees, and who, on 
being ejected after the expiration of the statutory period of seven 
w years v is paid that amount, and the land is let to another tenant 
on a rent of Rs. 100 plus Rs. 6-4. During the next seven years 
the landlord will realize from the new tenant Rs. 43-12 only, 
which is less than one-half of the amount he has paid to the old 
one as compensation for disturbance ; that is to say, out of a 
total rent of Rs. 100, the landlord will lose Rs. 56-4 and will 
have ho prospect of realizing , that amount irom any one by any 
means, nor will he be able to recoup himself during the next" 
fourteen years for the loss thus sustained. The compensation 
lordisturbance rule, which is a very hard and fast rule indeed, 
will, , in the long rim, deprive the landlord of his power 1 of 

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■ejectment altogether, and will give the tenant a right to hold 
the land for a practically unlimited period. 9 Upon those who 
cannot afford to p£$r any compensation *Jt all, it will "have the 
effect of permanently transferring their properties to their 
tenants. It is the duty of this Hon'ble Council to have due 
regard for the rights and interests of all classes for whom it 
proposes to legislate. 9 . 

Another effect of this compensation for disturbance rule 
will be that it will be an irresistible temptation to tenantg to 
*hift their holdings as frequently as they can, and will set them 
wandering about in quest of better land and a more lenient 
landlord from whom they could squeeze a larger amount as 
compensation for disturbance. One of the main objects of this 
Bill, as I understand it, is to give fixity of tenure to the 
cultivator and to induce him to devote more time and labour 
to the cultivation of his holding. This object, I humbly 
submit, w!ll be utterly defeated by the rule in question, which, 
diverting the tenant's attention from the cultivation of his 
holding will fix it on compensation, This, as a matter of fact, 
will lead to the deterioration of the soil and will leave no 
chauce of its improvement. What justification is there, I 
would respectfully ask, for depriving the party, justly entitled, 
of a portion of his right and giving it to another party which 
does not possess the shadow of a right ? Will it be just and 
reasonable to deprive the landlord of the only means of 
getting rid of a bad tenant by making this objectionable rule 
applicable to all classes of tenants ? The ejectment of recalcitrant 
tenants should, like that of defaulters, be made a rule rather 
than an exception. 

Now, with due respect and deference* I beg to draw the 
attention of this Hon'ble Council to the provision ofr Section 
129. I will not dwell upon the reasons andsmotives which 


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have prompted the insertion of this Section in the' present 
Bill. I Will leave it to the Hon'ble Members to consider and 
decide Whether it is j necessary to retain* this Section after 
adequate provisions haye been made for fixing the term of the 
lease and limiting the enhancement of rent. The term of 
the lease having been fixed and the rate of enhancement 
limited, I humbly submit that this. Section seems to me to be 
entirely unnecessary and undesirable aftid should be expunged 
from the Bill. 

In conclusion, I humbly pray that sufficient time may be 
allowed to the taluqdars for submitting their objections to 
certain provisions of this Bill and suggesting some* useful 
provisions for insertion therein, and explaining the exceptions 
subject to which they have accepted the rules of seven 
years' lease and of the enhancement of rent. I beg leave- 
to support the motion that the Oudh Rent Bill be committed 
to the Select Committee for consideration and report 


Speech by the Hon'ble Ran a Sir Shank ar Baksh Singh 
* Bahadur, K.c.i.e., on the Oudh Rent Bill in the Imperial 
Legislative Council on the 30th September 1886. 

The Hon'ble Rana Shankar Baksh Singh addressed the 
Council in Vernacular, a translation of his remarks being 
read by the Secretary as follows : — 

With your Lordship's permission, I humbly beg to offer 
a few remarks on the Oudh Rent Bill, as amended by the 
Select Committee and submitted to this Hon'ble Council fo^ 
consideration &.nd final disposal. • l 

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( vii ) 

When the Bill was initiated it could hardly be expected 
that such importayt, difficult, and intricate* questions as it 
involved would be so easily and promptly settled. But the 
difficulties, which then appeared to be almost insurmountable, 
liave, I am glad to say, been successfully removed ; and this 
desirable end has been atfhjeved no less through the special 
^attention bestowed on the subject by His Honor the Lieutenant- 
•Governor, and the keen interest taken by His Honor in the 
discussion and settlement of details, than through the peace- 
ful disposition and loyal conduct of the Taluqdars. 

I think I need scarcely remind this Hon'ble Council 
tiow the Taluqdars had, subject to certain important excep- 
tions, 'accepted the two main principles of the Bill, — I mean 
'the rules about the seven years' lease, and the limitation of 
enhancement to one anna in the rupee, — and how the Local 
<xovernmt!ht had consented to expunge Section 129 of the 
original Bill and the rule about compensation for disturbance. 
But, in orcler to more effectually check evictions, it was 
subsequently resolved that a stamp duty be levied on all 
ejectment notices, and that, if the Landlord desired to be 
exempted from the payment of such duty, he should be al- 
lowed to grant a longer lease. The last plan was suggested 
by your Excellency in the speech on the Rent Bill made on 
the 9th June last. 

The way these points were settled may be readily as- 
certained from the correspondence on the subject and need 
not be explained here. After the more important questions 
had been satisfactorily settled, the minor objections of the 
Taluqdars were considered ; and the few amendmgnts pro- 
posed by them afUr careful consideration, and in a fair and 
unprejudiced spirit, were wholly or partially approved by 

* * 

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( viii ) 

the Local Government, adopted by the Select Committee- 
•and embodied b/ them in the Bill now before your Excellency's- 

The Taluqdars* objections to Sectfon 4 of the Bill,, 
though respectfully urged, were exceptionally strong and 
attracted sufficient attention at the time ; but subsequently 
it was found impossible to amend* this^ section to the extent 
thejr desired, because any further amendment would make 
it inconsistent with the principles of the seven years' lease* 
and the limitation of enhancement as finally accepted by 
the Taluqdars. 

As regards Section 51 of the present *Bill, the /Taluq- 
dars had requested that it should be expunged, but the. 
Local Government did not recommend this, and in Select 
Committee the Section was left to stand as itjs. In my 
humble opinion this section should be maintained, and witL 
your Lordship's permission, I will briefly stat& the reasons- 
which have led me to this conclusion. 

Though the Taluqdars have, from philanthropic % and 
liberal motives or in deference to the wishes of Govern- 
ment, accepted the provision as to limitation of enhancement 
to one anna in the rupee, it is not unlikely that after a 
few years' experience the Government will find the rule in ques- 
tion inapplicable to all classes of land. There are certain des- 
criptions of land which will not admit of any enhancement 
at all, while there are others for which the proposed enhance- 
ment of one anna in the rupee will be quite insufficient, 
and a third class of land will only bear an enhancement 
of less -than one anna in the rupee. From the incidence 
of enhancement on all the three classes of land the Landlord 
is sure to suffer^ heavily, and the Government will equally 

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( ix ) 

suffer in its revenue at a future settlement. Under these 


circumstances, it wilUbecome necessary to* vary the limits of 
'enhancement according to the descriptions and capacities of 
land, and raise or lower the amount of enhancement as the 
circumstances of each case may demand. It is to be hoped 
that the powers thus giyen* to the Local Government will 
be exercised by it judi#iously. I am humbly but firmly 
of opinion that, owing to a rise in the market-rates and the 
improved means of communication, especially in those parts 
of the country to which the railway line has not yet been 
extended, # it will become absolutely necessary to vary the 
limits of enhancement. 
• * 

My Lord, the Taluqdars have loyally sacrificed their 
interests and shown great moderation and liberality to their 
tenants, and^as their objections are conceived in a perfectly 
fais and loyal spirit and couched in the most respectful terms, 
I hatfe felt it/ny duty as a Member of the Select Committee 
to try as best as I could to obtain a fair and impartial consider- 
ation for all and each of their objections. But I was com- 
pelled 4-0 agree with my learned and Hon'ble colleagues of 
the Select Committee in rejecting some of those objections 
for reasons which they were good enough to explain to me! 
Greatly as I wished that there should be no reason for my 
holding a different view, I regret to say that I was reluctant- 
ly compelled to record my dissent on some important points 
in a minute annexed to the Select Committee's Report now 
before the Hon'ble Council. The Taluqdars' objections to 
the provisions of Section 19 for the remission of rent are 
.not unreasonable. What they want is that either Section 23 
the North-Western Provinces Kent Act XII of 1861 be 
applied to Oudh or that Section 20, Act XIX of 1*868, which 
has long been in force in Oudh, be maintained. If the 



( * ) 

Government is disposed to show more mercy to tenants, it 
should equally divide between itself and the Landlord the. 
losses caused by unforeseen calamities. 

In fact, the Landlords of Oudh are not better off than 
those of the adjoining districts .of the North- Western Pro- 
vinces. In some districts of the ftorth- Western Provinces, 
where the Permanent Settlement is in force and which have 
tang enjoyed the blessings of peace, the Landlords surpass 
the Landowners of Oudh in wealth and prosperity. Oudh 
has as yet known only a thirty years* settlement, and during 
the last thirty years of internal peace and security, it has 
been disturbed by the harassing operations of a number of 
settlements giving rise to countless disputes and producing 
disastrous litigation. The Landlords of Oudh are therefore 
by no means less entitled to the favourable consideration 
of the Government than those of the North- Western Pro- 
vinces, and if in the North- West em Provinces, a remission 
of rent to tenants is followed by a remission of the revenue 
to the Landlords, it is but just and reasonable that the same 
rule should be held good for Oudh. .The Chief Secretary 
to the Government, North- Western Provinces and Oudh, in 
his letter No. |^z^ » dated the 6th instant, has laid some, 
stress on the fact that in practice the rule in question has 
led to serious errors, but from this, I humbly submit, it does 
not necessarily follow that the rule is radically wrong o*r 
defective and cannot be rectified or improved under proper 
supervision and by suitable instructions. If, however, it is 
considered desirable that this rule should not be introduced 
in Oudh, then th£ rule laid down in Section 20 of the present 
Rent &ct, which has been in force for 18 years and has work- 
ed so well^and without prejudice to either party, need cot be 
a ltered. The only ground on which it seems possible to make 

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the proposed alteration is to give the statutory tenant the 
benefit of a remission of rent under exceptional circumstances, 
. an addition to the statutory privileges already conferred upon 
him. But the tenant's claim to a remission of rent falls 
to the ground when it is considered that he has obtained such 
valuable concessions from his Landlord, who, for seven long 
years will not be able to share the benefits the tenant will 
derive from the improved capacity of the land comprised 
in his holding, from the increased means of communication 
or from high market rates, and who cannot enhance the rent 
beyond one anna in the Rupee even after the expiration of 
that period. If the tenant is entitled to get the full benefit 
of tiis cultivation, # he must be held equally liable to any 
accidental loss that may be caused by unforeseen calamities ; 
and for which he can compensate himself from abundant 
crops in better years. But, if the Landlord is made to bear 
the loss, he will have no means whatever of compensating 
himself for it. Further, the rule in question has not proved 
prejudicial to tenants in Oudh holding five years' leases. 

The third alternative proposed by the Taluqdars rests on 
an equally just and equitable principle. As the Government 
gets one-half of what is paid to tjie Landlord as rent, it is 
Bound in justice to him to grant a remission of the revenue 
equal to half the rent remitted to the tenant by its Officers. 
The Landlords have good reasons to think that, if the con- 
nection of Government is maintained, tenants will not dare 
prefer false or frivolous claims and the Government Officers 
will investigate such claims with due care. 

On Section 27, 1 humbly beg to observe, that the recom- 
mendations of His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor may be 
adopted with advantage. Purely conjectural estimates of 
compensation for improvements have, in jJrac&ce, been found 



• ( xii ) 

erroneous, though estimates carefully made by experienced and 
honesty men may fye safely relied upon. But such men are 
hardly obtainable in this country for the execution of such a..- 
petty task, and His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor has justly 
approved of the amendment proposed by the Taluqdars. < 


As regards Section 29, 1 humbly^beg to observe, that there 
is nothing in the whole Bill to prevent the tenant from making 
whatever improvement he likes, but it does not provide for 
the award of a compensation to the Landlord or other tenants, 
if the improvement effected by the sitting tenant causes any 
loss or damage to them. In Oudh, the tenant has no right 
whatever in the land he cultivates, and he may possibly make' 
an improvement with the intention of occasioning loss to his 
Landlord or other tenants. 

I humbly submit, my Lord, that I am at a fttes to under- J 
stand why special provision should be made for the award by the 
Landlord of an additionai compensation to the tenant for any 
loss that may be caused to his (landlord's) own land by .an 
improvement made by himself. It is quite clear that the land- 
lord will not do anything which might prove prejudicial to 
himself. * 

Now with your Lordship's permission, I will briefly 
explain the losses which an improvement made by landlord 
might possibly be conceived to cause to a tenant. In the first 
place, the landlord sinks wells in the holdings of his tenants 1 
during a particular season of the year, that is, May or J une, 
when there are no standing crops which might possibly be 
injured thereby. <The rainy and the cold seasons are not 
favourable to the construction of wells which are exclusively 
made in summed. ^ 

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' ( xiii <) * • 

In the second place, even if a well sunk by the landlord 
in the holding of his tenant produces salt water, which is not 
favourable to cultivation generally, such water may nevertheless 
he utilized in raising a tobacco crop or other crops of a similar 
nature, to the growth of which irrigation with salt water has 
1>een found to be highly conducive. ^ The tenant may not use 
such water for purposes of cultivation if he apprehends any loss 
or damage from using it. 


Thirdly, the construction of an embankment is a rare 
occurrence. Embankments are seldom or never constructed 
within 'cultivated areas, and cannot therefore cause any loss or 
-damage to a tenant. But the tenant may himself injure his 
holding by opening an embankment suddenly and carelessly and 
letting in an excessive quantity of water, in which case the land- 
lord cannot justly be made to share the blame which naturally 
■attaches tfo the tenant. In my humble opinion, the construction 
of, an embankment cannot possibly tend to impair the productive 
powers of land, and there is no necessity for making a special 
, provision to that effect. It will be a great discouragement, if 
not a perfect bar to improvements, if landlords are required 
to pay additional compensation for accidental losses. The more 
useful and costly improvements »are effected by landlords,^ and 
not by tenants. The rent in question, if maintained, will produce 
injurious effects. 

I also beg leave to bring prominently to the notice of 
this Hon'ble Council the fact that improvements, whether made 
by landlords or tenants, are effected with the special view of 
improving the productive power of land and in perfectly good 
faith, and that bond fide action cannot, aad should not, be held 
-to make the doer liable to compensation for any loss that may 
-be caused thereby. 



•' • (.xiv ) •• • 

The Taluqdars' objections to the extension of the statutory 
privileges to pahik£sht or non-resident tenants, carry great weight 
and call for the special attention of this Hon'ble Council. To 
promote the agricultural prosperity of the Province has been 
the guiding principle and the professed aim and object of the 
present Bill ; and, as non-resident tenants are barred by local 
custom as well as by the terms of the Wajib-ul-arz from using 
water and manure for the improvement of their holdings, they 
should not be placed cm an equal footing with resident tenants 
and admitted to the special privileges conferred on the latter. 
It cannot be said that the Taluqdars have brought forward this- 
point at the last stage of the Bill. They have already touched 
upon it in their printed Memorandum (page 21) proposing* 
changes to the Bill. So able and experienced an officer a» 
Colonel Erskine, the Special Commissioner, the outcome of whose ~ 
elaborate enquiries is the present Rent Bill, has, in paragraph 
149 of his letter No. 135, dated 1st June 1883, recomnfended the 
exclusion of pahikdsht tenants from the new statutory privilege^. 
I have already urged in the^ course of these remarks strong 
reasons against the views expressed on this point in the letter of . 
the Chief Secretary to the Government, North- Western Provinces 
and Oudh, No.^Jj^, dated the 6th instant/ 

Lastly, I humbly beg to call the attention of this Honlble 
Council to Section 69, wherein the words * by a registered docu- 
ment' appear to be quite unnecessary. The particular effect 
of this restriction will be to bar contracts between landlords 
and tenants for periods exceeding the statutory term of sever* 
years, as neither will like to go a long way out of his village 
or estate to get any such document registered. I therefore? 
humbly beg to suggest that registration may be made optional 
and not compulsory. 

• --a 

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Speech delivered by the Hon'ble Ran a Sir Shankar Baksh 
Singh Bahadur, k.c.i.e., on the Suits Valuation Bill in 
the Imperial Legislative Council on the 28th January 1887. 

My Lord, — With»youc Lordship's permission, I beg to- 
offer a few remarks on the Bill now before your Excellency's 
Council # 

There is nothing in the present Bill which is open to 
objection or which calls for criticism. 

The main otfject of the Bill seems to be to obviate difficulties 
4a estimating the value of the subject-matter of suits for the- 
purpose of determining the jurisdiction of Courts with respect 
thereto. I* not unfrequently happens that the Lower Court,, 
ifnder-estimating the value of the subject-matter of a suit brought 
before it, considers that it falls within its jurisdiction, while, on 
appeal, the Appellate Court holds that the Lower Court had no 
jurisdiction and reverses its decision, solely on this ground. 
The 'result is, that all the proceedings gone through and the 
evidence produced by the parties concerned, are rendered useless, 

• and the case has to be retried by a Court of competent jurisdic- 
tion. It also happens that the plea of want of jurisdiction, 
although it was not put forth in the Lower Court, is urged in the 

9 Appellate Court, which, finding from the record of the case that 
in trying a suit the value of the subject-matter of which was too 
high the Lower Court had really exceeded the limits of its- 
jurisdiction, sets aside its decision and the whole proceeding is 
quashed. % 

Sometimes the case is remanded by the Appellate Court to be 
retried with special reference to the value'of the subject-matter, 

9 ' 

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(. xvi ) • • 

and then finding that the suit, as regards the value of the ' 
property in dispute, was beyond the jurisdiction of the Lower 
Court, the Appellate Court cancels the whofe proceeding and 
directs the case to be retried by a Court of competent jurisdiction. 

These, My Lord, are the most obvious instances in which 
the law, as it nowstands? fails to aocomnjish its object and to 
remedy such defects ; legislation on, the4ines of the present Bill 
seems to be necessary. 

The Bill gives Local Governments the power to make rules 
regarding the mode of estimating the value of the subject- 
matter of suits. This is necessary, because different rates 
prevail, not only in different Provinces but in the different parts 
of the one and the same Province, and because no definite 
provisions could be made in the Bill itself for estimating the" 
value of the subject-matter of suits in different Provinces or 
Parganas for the purpose of determining the jurisdiction*of Courts; 
more especially as the value of land is always fluctuating, which 
makes it all the more necessary to invest Local Governments 
with the power to make rules after duly considering the different 
local conditions and the various and constantly varying jates 
prevailing in different localities, and from time to time to alter 
or ^modify the rules thus made, so as to make them applicable to 
lands of different descriptions and capacities and to other property 
of which the value is always rising and falling. 

The present Bill, as amended by the Select Committee, 
fairly promises to fulfil the object with which it has been framed 
and brought before this Hon'ble Council. 


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Speech delivered by the Hon'blb Rana Sir Shankar Baksh 
Singh Bahadur, k.c.i.e., on the Petroleum Bill in the 
Imperial Legislative Council on the 3rd February 1888. 

I have fully cQnsfdered the Pefroleum. Bill and the State- 
ment of its objects and. reasons. Since Petroleum (including 
various kinds of inflammable liquids enumerated in the Bill) 
is an article of trade, it does not seem to me improper to ^evy a 
-custom-duty on the same on its being imported into British 
India from any other country or island. My reasons for the 
above conclusions are as follows : — 
• • 

The Government has, both on land and water, afforded 
every convenience and safety to the public by means of railways 
and steamers, which facilitate commercial communications with. # 
distant countries and thereby cause the prosperity and 
vleveloprnent of commerce. 

The Government, as far as possible, protects the property 
of every individual. 

• • - 

Having these reasons in view, I entirely agree with the 
Hon'ble Member, Mr. Westland, in his proposal to impose a 
•duty on Petroleum ; but since at the same time, it appears from 
the Statement of objects and reasons, that the trade of Petroleum 
has been on the increase* for the last two years only, I beg to 
suggest that in the beginning, if deemed advisable, the rate of 
duty should be a little lower than that which has been proposed. 
. In future, the rate may be raised if the said trade proves more 
flourishing, or if the present increase, therein remains in after 
jears steady. • 

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* a 

Englishman, 29 th January 1906. 
To the Editor op the " Englishman." 


. Ak an occasional * visitor to Calcutta, who has a vivid 
recollection of the appearauce which it presented twenty years, 
ago, I trust, I may be permitted to bear my humble testimony 
to the various improvements which I have noticed during my 
present visit to this Metropolitan City. My first visit took 
place in 1887, when I accompanied my father, the late Eana 
Sir Shankar Baksh Singh Bahadur, k.c.i.e., who came here to 
-attend the meetings of the Imperial Legislative Council of 
which he was an Additional Member. Burrabazar was then 
full of narrow lanes which were never properly swept, and a # 
sickening stench pervaded tl^ entire Native town. When I 
contrast what I then saw and smelt with my present experiences, 
I am fairly lost in admiration. The dingy and,dirty lanes *f 
Burrabazar have given place to the magnificent Harrison Road 
lined with stately edifices built "on sanitary principles, and the 
streets and lanes are swept more satisfactorily than was the 
case when I first visited the city. The opening of this Road 
has immensely improved the sanitation of this part of the 
Town, though I remember, even this great improvement was* 
not effected without some opposition from the residents. The 
continuous water-supply is another boon, the Value of which % 
can be adequately appreciated only by those who remember 
the water scarcity which prevailed in Burrabazar twenty years- 
ago. In the course* of my drives through the city, I have 
noticed several filthy bus tees transformed into beautiful squares,. 

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( xix ) 

and numerous bathing platforms and public latrines provided 
for the poorer classes. I hope the Municipal Authorities will 
soon take in hand the widening of CJiitpur Road which is too 
narrow to meet the growing requirements of a growing popu- 
lation. I have often seen this road blocked by long lines of 
carriages, to the sprious inconvenience and danger of pedes- 
trians, but, I am sure, this much-needed improvement will find 
a place in the Improvement Scheme pf which we have heard 
. so much. My present visit in connection with the presentation 
of the Taluqdars' address to the Viceroy has taught me many 
things, not the least noteworthy of which is the object-lesson 
which the improvement of Calcutta affords of the utility of 
Municipal Institutions. 




"Calcutta, January 28 th 



Pioneer, 12th February 1906. 


To the Editor. 
Sir, * • * • 

Tuesday, the 13th of February,- will # witness the Fiftieth 
Anniversary of the Annexation of Oudh to British Territory, which 
was effected by Lord Dalhousie under orders from the Home 
Government, by a Proclamation, dated the 13th of February 1856. 
Lord Dalhousie himself was not in favour of annexation bu^ had 
proposed that the King of Oudh should be permitted to retain 
his royal title and rank but should be required to vest the wtoole 
civil and military administration of Oudh in the hands of the 
Company. The milder policy, recommended by the Governor- 
General, was, however, rejected by the Court of Directors «and Her 
Majesty's Ministry who ordered the annexation of Oudh and 
desired Lord Dalhousie to see the order carried out before laying* 
down his office. It is not my object to • discuss the propriety or 
the morality of the annexation, which will indeed be apparent 
from an impartial examination of the condition flf the Province-' 
.and its population at the time which immediately preceded the 
* annexation. I submit such a retrospect will be neither unseason- 
able nor unprofitable, now, that the Province has been under- 
British rule for exactly half a century. 

I must begin with the King. The late Wazid Ali Shah was- 
an effiuiinate voluptuary who passed his days and nights in the 
society of fiddlers and eunuchs* poetasters and dancing girls,. 
• and was entirely under |heir baneful influence. He had neither 
the eapaeit^ nor the inclination to look after the administration 
of his Kingdom ^an^L suffered himself to be led about by his 
curl-pated minions. b 


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( * xi 

The gang of fiddlers, eunuchs, and poetasters was all power- 
ful in the State, amd even the Prime Minister and his lieutenants 
%were obliged to propitiate thera £y systematic presents and 
bribes. Indeed, without their support, the Prime Minister could 
riot retain his position for a day, and between them, they appro- 
priated, or rather misappropriated, tp themselves one-half of the 
revenues of the countiy. The .fiddlers had absolute control 
over the administration of Civil Justice, and the ennuchs over 
that of Criminal Justice, so that justice was, as a rule, sold to the 
highest bidder. The Prime Minister had charge of the Land 
Revenue Department, and it is recorded that when he was on 
J;our, his attendants " were plundering in all the- surrounding 
village," and the attendants on the contractors and other 
local" officials were, if possible, still worse, and we are told that 
" throughout the country the King's officers all plundered, utterly 
regardlessjof the sufferings of the people and the best interests 
er the Sovereign/' Every appointment in the State had a price 
attached to and the revenue farmers and their armed retainers 
oppressed the cultivators to sucR an extent, that vast tracts of 
•cultivated country relapsed into jungle in consequence of their 
having been deserted by an over-oppressed tenant ry. The strong 
Taluqdars often defied the King # and refused to pay hinijany 
revenue, unless coercive methods were employed, and amused 
themselves with' attacking their weak neighbours and annexing 
their estates. Oppression of the crudest kind was the order, of 
the day, and neither life nor property was secure. 

Sir William Sleeman records as follows in connection with 
ascertain raid:— "All the towns and villages on the estate 
Tvere plundered of everything that could be found, and fifteen 
hundred men and about two hundred women and children were 
brought in prisoners with no less than eighty thousand animals 
of all kinds. Pregnant women were- beaten on by the troop*, 

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r xxii ) 


-with bludgeon and the "butt ends of muskets and matchlocks. ' 
Many of *them gave premature birth to children and died on 
iihe road, and many children were trodden to death. At ar 
certain place, the tepants, who had refused to sign fbonds Tor 
the payment of whatever sums might be demanded of them, 
Tvere tortured from dlybjeak till # nopn. They were tied 
up and flogged, had red hot ramrod* thrust into their flesh, 
their tongues were pulled out with hot pincers and pierced 
through. No less than seventy men, besides women and 
-children, perished from torture and starvation. It is further 
stated that the women and children were all stripped of their 
clothes, and many died from cold and want of sustenance." * 

We need not linger upon this gruesome picture, out we 
would do well to remember that this was the normal state 
of Oudh before the annexation. Owing to the corruption that " 
prevailed, the public service was manned by incompetent, 
unscrupulous and low-born men whose one thought wag to 
enrich themselves by abusing their powers and tyrannizing 
over the people. No career was open to honest, able and 
respectable men. The higher appointments^ in the army^were 
monopolized by the nominees of Messrs. Eunuch, Fiddler & Co., 
arid the troops, who were seldom paid their salaries with • 
anything like regularity, eked out their livelihood by plunder- 
ing helpless peasants. Infanticide prevailed as a recognized 
institution throughout the Proviuce, notwithstanding the fact . 
that it had been prohibited by the King about a quarter of a 
-century before the annexation." Sleeman writes : — " Some 
families in every Rajput tribe in Oudh destroy their female 
infants to avoid the cost of marrying them." 


Com pari ng*the present state of Oudh with what existed fifty / 
years ago, who can have the hardihood to gainsay that the annex- 
• tioi* has proved to be a boon and a biessing to the people? 

• ... 

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( xxiii ) 

In the Proclamation of Annexation, Lord Dalhousie said : — 
"The British Government would be guilty in the sight of God 
% and man, if it were any longer to aid in sustaining by its 
countenance an administration fratfght with suffering to 
millions." Now that the angry passions which the annexation 
had evoked have passed away, and w^ who are separated from 
that epoch-making eve*nt by the distance of half a century, can 
take a calm and dispassionate retrospect of the various 
changes, chiefly reforms, which the annexation has brought 
in its train, every son of Oudh will feel grateful to the great 
Power which has conferred upon our long suffering Province 
the priceless boons of peace and security, of progress and 
prosperity. Trye, we have lost something of the martial 
spirit of the 4 Barons bold ' of old^ whose days were spent 
in the wild excitement of war and plunder. But surely 
peace hath # her victories not less glorious than war, to which 
it is the privilege of the present and future generations to 
aspire^ Yet^one cannot but feel assort of sneaking admiration 
for those stern Knights of the. pre-annexation days, whose 
•s'words are now rust but whose souls are with the saints, I trust. 


* Taluqdkar. 

Kh^URGAon, 7th February 1906. 

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